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Final debate on objective morality

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Voting Style: Judge Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/13/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 552 times Debate No: 61653
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)




Hi ajab, this is my final attempt at moral debates :P I learned from my past mistakes and I asked mikal to be an ad-hoc judge. First round is starting argument. I won't divide it into several points because I'm too lazy.

I found something in the quran. Quote (in english) 'Wish for your brother, what you wish for yourself.'
NOTE: this quote will become important near the end.
If morality is indeed objective, why are there so many different sects of all religions with different views? With different codes? Why do some societies condone some actions while others endorse them. Free will and objective morality do not quite fit together. Objective morality would interfere with free will. If objective morality guides us and basically serves as a 'Jiminy Cricket' (if you know Pinocchio, you know what I mean) that means it discourages from certain actions. But what if those actions are endorsed by the person's society? For example, I live in a culture where homosexuality is completely acceptable and I feel no remorse. If objective morality is a fact, why do the views of societies reflect so strongly on individual morality. NOW, relating to the quote in the beginning, I will explain my understanding of how subjective morality works. The REASON why people view murder, theft and adultery immoral is because THEY do not want to experience such transgressions against THEM. Another contributing factor, as pointed out before, is society. Society's laws govern individual morality. Sure, a person could feel remorse when doing something that his society views as moral, but that means that genetically he is predisposed to such views, or he grew up in a family that encouraged values different form that of society's values.



I have had this debate way too many times with you for it to be fun. In any case though I thank you, my beloved Benji, for initiating this debate. I also thank Mikal for agreeing to be a judge. It was most kind. I think I should start with some fundamental analysis, then move on to talk about the problem with Benji's argument, and then finally present my positive material.

I should start with some fundamental definitions which I as the Proposition have the right to propose, especially since my opponent did not. Let us then understand of morality. Morality may refer normatively to refer to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons.[1] Taking this further absolute/objective morality comments on the nature of morality, such that the word in this context means that the 'code of conduct' put forth by 'all rational persons' will be 'a value or principle which is regarded as universally valid or which may be viewed without relation to other things.'[2]

One might all too quick think that it is I, the Proposition who holds the full burden of proof. This is incorrect, because the resolution does not endorse, or give an absolute statement regarding morality. In fact I feel Benji would have done well to phrase it better. Instead the resolution (that which concerns us) says: absolute morality. On this resolution I am the Proposition, and my opponent is the Opposition. Now in this scenario I only need to give a case for the resolution, and my opponent against. This means that in this case the onus probandi is shared. Since I am not making a claim, but upholding a belief, I only need show probability for my case. Therefore whoever has the preponderance of evidence wins.

This also means that my opponent is obliged to present a positive case in defense of his position. As he has done so in the first; I will not attempt to deconstruct it. My opponent's entire round is flawed, and inherently so for it breaks Hume's Law. Now Hume's Law states: 'In every system of morality, which I have hitherto met with, I have always remarked, that the author proceeds for some time in the ordinary ways of reasoning, and establishes the being of a God, or makes observations concerning human affairs; when all of a sudden I am surprised to find, that instead of the usual copulations of propositions, is, and is not, I meet with no proposition that is not connected with an ought, or an ought not. This change is imperceptible; but is however, of the last consequence. For as this ought, or ought not, expresses some new relation or affirmation, 'tis necessary that it should be observed and explained; and at the same time that a reason should be given; for what seems altogether inconceivable, how this new relation can be a deduction from others, which are entirely different from it.'[3] This as G Russel tells us means: 'you can't get an "ought" from an "is"or, less memorably that no set containing only descriptive sentences implies a normative sentence'.[4]

If you study my opponent's case it is entirely based on the "is" fallacy. Beji says: 'For example, I live in a culture where homosexuality is completely acceptable and I feel no remorse. If objective morality is a fact, why do views of societies reflect so strongly on individual morality'. This is the epitome of the "is" issue. You see it does not matter what one believes or what one does, what matters is what one 'ought' to do.

Unless it is so that homosexuality 'ought' to be in one culture, and 'ought' not to be in another, my opponent's contentions fail miserably. This debate boils down to whether reason can postulate a subjective ought, or only an objective one. For this my opponent gives no argument. He gives no other argument that I can deduce save that with objective morality there would not be free will. I feel this is a false dichotomy because objective morality only states what "ought" to be. While there may only be one 'best' answer, or the most moral thing one can do; one can easily chose to ignore this and do the opposite. So I do not see how this appears as a problem.

Now for my positive argument. Please remember as my opponent did not define the terms, and as I am Proposition, I had the right to define the terms. I did not define them inappropriately, I used a proper encyclopedia of help. Now that we are clear regarding our terminology, let us consider what the definition implies. What is it that would be put forth by a wholly rational community? A rational action? Correct. So we can deduce that what this definition implies is that morality is based on rationality. Now I will give a series of arguments in favor of objective morality. My opponent must defend his case, and refute all of my contentions.

A1: From Reason
1. Any postulate of reason possess the conceptualization of necessity.
2. Morality is a postulate of reason.
Ergo: Morality possess the conceptualization of necessity.

By the conceptualization of necessity we mean that there is a universality. This premise seems self-evident for in any other condition reason could not have been used to convince us of any proposition. What this states is that reason will, given the same conditions reproduce the same conclusions. This can be seen by the fact that for each and every person 1+1=2 and not 3 or 4. The second premise is guaranteed ex ve termini.

A2: From Causality:
1. If action X is moral, then action X is affect (or is it effect, I forget), for which there is an action Y, its cause.
2. For any action of set P, that is of moral actions, the causes yP are moral causes.
3. Y is a moral cause of X, in relation to yP and xP.
4. Y then will always result in X.
5. (from earlier premises) Y is a moral objective law.

Lets suppose there is an effect which is moral. Let this effect be the summum bonum (or the ultimate good), you see by assuming the summum bonum I need not specify anything else. Now if the summum bonum (whatever the highest good is) is a moral effect, and a cause can cause this moral effect, then the cause let it be Y will be a moral thing to do. In this case while I may not know what Y is, I know Y exists (from the law of causality in respects to effects and causes: if a hypothetical effect can exist, there exists a corresponding cause, it works because a hypothetical QM fluctuation cannot exist), and Y is an objective moral law.

This is a bad phrasing of the argument I will admit, but I had short amounts of time.

[1]The Definition of Morality, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (
[2]'absolute', Google Search (
[3]A Treatise of Human Nature by David Hume (
[4]In Defense of Hume's Law by Gillan Russell (
Debate Round No. 1


benko12345678 forfeited this round.


Well this is sad to say the least. Extend all contentions.
Debate Round No. 2
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by benko12345678 2 years ago
Sorry :/ I was too lazy. I haven't had a debate in so long I've completely lost the spirit.
Posted by benko12345678 2 years ago
I'm getting to it now...I'm so tired and lazy
Posted by Ajabi 2 years ago
Still waiting.
Posted by benko12345678 2 years ago
Sigh, I'm doing it now -.-
Posted by Ajabi 2 years ago
Do it today, and I will do it today too. Lezz end dis thing.
Posted by benko12345678 2 years ago
Well, I'm too lazy to do it today. I'll refute it tomorrow
Posted by benko12345678 2 years ago
Still waiting for a refutation...
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Mikal 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: There is no way to get around this sadly. The FF ended the debate as con was unable to really address any of pros contentions. So it was pros arguments which were rebutted by pro then a FF from con. Im sad to see con ff, as this would have been good.